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"Excessive" Behavior or Homophobia? L Word Star, Southwest Trade Blows Over Booting

If you didn't know who Leisha Hailey was this morning, you probably will by the end of the day. She's the latest celebrity taking to Twitter to call out Love Field-based Southwest Airlines, which removed her from a plane today -- not because she's considered a heavy-duty "safety risk" like Kevin Smith, for instance, but because she was kissing her girlfriend. At least, that's Hailey's side of the story.

The L Word star and Uh Huh Her member says on the Twitter that a flight attendant booted her because "it was a 'family' airline and kissing was not ok." Which was just the beginning. Hailey has since followed up by saying, among other things, that "Hate is not a family value" and "Since when is showing affection towards someone you love illegal?" and "I want to know what Southwest Airlines considers as 'family.'" She's calling for a boycott of Southwest, and sounds like she got the whole thing on video.

Since media accounts don't have Southwest's side of the story, I went looking for a response from the carrier and found this on its press-release home page. It doesn't mention Hailey by name, only a flight number and the insistence that this had nothing to do with, ya know, gender:

Initial reports indicate that we received several passenger complaints characterizing the behavior as excessive. Our crew, responsible for the comfort of all Customers on board, approached the passengers based solely on behavior and not gender. The conversation escalated to a level that was better resolved on the ground, as opposed to in flight. We regret any circumstance where a passenger does not have a positive experience on Southwest and we are ready to work directly with the passengers involved to offer our heartfelt apologies for falling short of their expectation.

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